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January 20, 2017

There is one NBA pick tonight.

It is a 4-unit stepout play and therefore slightly bigger than the average 3% bet size!

Take Portland Blazers -1 spread (buy half a point) against Philadelphia 76ers for 4% of the bankroll.

Are the 76ers an improved team compared to last year? Certainly. Are they as good as they've appeared recently? No. They are currently enjoying their hottest stretch in years having won 7 of their last 9 games but we don't see that continuing tonight. It's time for them to come back down to earth and realize that there is a long road ahead. The dynamic back-court duo of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard are likely to remind them of just how far they are from being competitive especially since they were surprised by the 76ers on their last trip here.

Philadelphia has covered 7 of 8 spreads in the month of January and has gone from flying under the radar to now being over-rated! This is a squad that was consistently being handed double-digit points by oddsmakers until recently and yet now they are suddenly a virtual pick'em (PK) with the straight up winner basically cashing in on the spread as well. The fact that our interests are fully aligned with the Trail Blazers in the sense that any victory, no matter the margin would work for us is a huge bonus! Because in our opinion, the visitors should have been installed as a 3 or 4-point favorite and it wouldn't surprise us if they won this game fairly comfortably.

The 76ers can be satisfied with their recent performances even if they lose tonight and that is a factor that gives the visitors an edge, because unlike the hosts, Portland very much needs a 'W' tonight. They've suddenly dropped 3 in a row and have a tough task ahead of them tomorrow night at the TD Garden against Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics! They understand that tonight's game at Wells Fargo Center is realistically their best chance for a victory on this road trip and failure to capture it might well see them flying back home with a winless record! Terry Stotts' troops will be fully motivated to bounce back after a blowout loss to the Hornets. We believe they'll take out their frustrations on a weak Sixers team that is currently 'pleased with itself' and also has a game on deck tomorrow, against an Eastern conference foe in Atlanta Hawks.

The team from the City of Brotherly Love is also in a let-down spot having snapped a long losing streak to Atlantic division champs, Toronto Raptors! They won a close one against the Canadians much like they did against another division opponent in the Knicks recently and it is becoming clear that they'll play Eastern conference opponents that have been beating up on them in recent years tough to show they are no longer doormats. That's admirable but aainst a midlevel Western conference team that they have no rivalry against, look for them to come out sluggish and not be at their best.

One should also remember that despite Portland's currently below-average record, they are firmly in the hunt for the post-season as they sit just half a game below the Nuggets for that 8th and final playoff spot! The 76ers, on the other hand, are under no illusions despite their recent purple patch and realize they have a very slim chance of making the playoffs. This is still a rebuilding year for the young Sixers as they are very much in transition mode. The Blazers possess not only the more talented squad but should also be the more motivated group when they step on the court tonight! At this minimal spread where we don't have to worry about the margin of victory, all the value is with the Trail Blazers!

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Portland is 14-7 as a favorite this season!
  • Philadelphia is 4-12 against Western conference opponents this season.
  • Philadlephia has lost 6 of 8 home games when the total has been set between 205 to 210 points!

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